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White Like Me

The days are dwindling down. A fortnight or so of the baseball version of the College World Series is all that stands between us and two months of Dead Zone barren landscape. Even now, the Sports sections of the various newspapers I read on a daily basis are carrying practically nothing of worthwhile value. This greatly reduces the amount of time spent reading them, necessitating finding other ways to fill up all of that Net time. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I find myself investigating Internet sites that might be considered out of the ordinary. One such was sent to me, a site I find utterly hilarious. Reading it has, however, caused me to make a startling discovery: It seems that I am not white.

I had always thought I was; verification was usually attained via looking in a mirror. While I have indeed learned that mirrors can carry a high degree of distortion- the youthful face that I remain convinced is staring back at me does not seem to be a universal consensus.

I had, however, figured that most any run-of-the-mill mirror could at least get skin color right. Alas, I have learned that is not the case.

The Web site that has thrown my entire sense of my standing in the WASP scheme of things is a seriously-funny one known as Stuff White People Like. It is great, purporting to list all of the things appealing to what I had thought was my own racial grouping. While I laugh out loud at many of its entries, it has also thrown me into serious ethnic confusion.

It’s the name. Had the site’s author chosen what would seem to me a more specific one such as Stuff Liberal White People Like or Stuff Trendy, Pretentious and Annoying White People Like, there would be no problem. But the guy insists that all white people are such a homogonous group that we can all fit into a neat group of stereotypes. If that is indeed the case, then I guess I’m not white.

There are some entries that indeed apply to me, at least partly. This is evident right off the bat with the first, Coffee.

I drink a lot of the stuff. My coffee maker is programmed to have a steaming pot ready for me each morning when I crawl out of bed, 5 cups that is almost always consumed while I make my early morning Internet rounds.

I fail the White People test, however, when I venture out into the world each morning. My first stop is usually as a nearby convenience store for another cup. If I have even been in a Starbucks, I don’t remember it. The one time I ventured into a local ‘gourmet’ coffee emporium, I immediately left when I discovered that while I could purchase any of a multitude of ‘specialty’ coffee-based concoctions at outrageous prices, I could not buy what I wanted, a simple cup of coffee at what I considered a reasonable price. I have never been back.

The same partial application for me comes with Number 5, Farmer’s Markets.

I very much like them and most Saturday mornings this time of year find me wandering around my local one. My reasons, however, have little to do with any corporate loathing or fears instilled by a book I have not read.

My reasons are simple: the local fresh produce available at the market is of a far better quality than the crap peddled at local grocery stores. This is the same thought processes that cause me to purchase virtually all of the beef I consume in my home from a small locally-owned market that specializes in freshly-butchered cows from local farms, cut in whatever manner I desire. All of the fish and seafood I buy comes from a local fishmonger and is much fresher than that sold in supermarkets. Taste is paramount. I am in it for the good eats.

There are a couple of listings that the site’s author could have had me in mind when he created them. The most obvious is Number 11, Asian Girls. Who doesn’t adore them? The large amounts of time I spend staring at pictures of them in various stages of undress on the Internet makes this one a no-brainer.

In the same vein is Number 58, Japan. I like pretty much everything about that country. Automobiles, electronics, food [my absolute favorite restaurant in my town is a Japanese one], their custom of removing their shoes when at home and, of course, their women cause me to be in total agreement with this one.

There is also Number 38, Arrested Development. I considered the show wildly funny; one of the best ever presented to the viewing public. Judging by the miniscule ratings it received before being summarily cancelled, however, had caused me to believe I was the only watching, period. I had no idea all other white people were watching and neither, apparently, did executives at Nielsen and Fox.

The handful of entries that do apply to me are far exceed by the numbers that do not. I can think of no circumstances whatsoever that will cause me to vote for #8, Barack Obama. I would not have voted for Hillary, either, but I did enjoy observing their slugfest for the Dem nomination.

I have no use for #32, Vegan/Vegetarianism. I am very comfortable with the placement my species enjoys in the food chain. There is also the ‘good eats’ factor again. The flesh that once adorned living cattle, chickens, pigs, deer, geese, rabbits, rattlesnakes, tuna, swordfish, cod, salmon, haddock, halibut, shark, mahi-mahi, herring, trout, catfish, grouper, mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, lobster, shrimp, crabs, scallops, oysters and many others tastes good, so I enthusiastically consume it without the first pang of guilt.

I have never once entered a marathon or even thought about it, never considered having two last names [the lady that broached the subject to me carried the surname Napolillo. Signing checks and divorce papers with ‘Alderson-Napolillo’ would have been a bitch], when I was in Manhattan I wanted very much to get away, I can recognize no ‘Indie’ music, I had never before read or heard the names ‘David Sedaris’ or ‘Michel Gondry’ until I saw them on this list, when I spy a Prius anywhere near me my initial instinct is to run it off the road, I consider bottled water an utter waste of money, I don’t have any bad memories of high school and I make few apologies.

Then there is #101, Being Offended. It is virtually impossible to offend me. I am not even offended when I read the e-mails and message board posts from the terminally-politically correct claiming that something I have written offends their tender sensibilities. I instead find the righteous indignation amusing.

Put this all together and the only possible conclusion is that I am not white. Imagine that. It is obviously going to take some time to sort this out and determine where I fit into the ethnic spectrum. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy Stuff White People Like, a very clever and funny Web site.

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